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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 2, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Erwin Center (16,734) -- Austin Texas. Television: Longhorn Network. Home Record: TCU 7-6, Texas 8-2. Away Record: TCU 1-4, Texas 0-5. Neutral Record: TCU 1-1, Texas 1-4. Conference Record: TCU 0-7, Texas 1-6. Series Record: Texas leads, 102-62.
GAME NOTES: Something has to give in this battle of Big 12 Conference bottom- dwellers, as the Texas Longhorns are set to entertain the TCU Horned Frogs at the Erwin Center on Saturday night.
Following a Dec. 30 win over Mississippi Valley State, TCU had won three in a row and was sitting with a solid 9-4 record, but since the start of league play things have gone south in a hurry. The Horned Frogs most recently fell at home to Baylor in blowout fashion, 82-56, to drop their seventh straight conference game. They have yet to win a Big 12 game, as this is their first year in the league.
It's been an similar situation for Texas (9-11, 1-6 Big 12) this season. It won eight of its 13 non-conference games only to lose six of its next seven in conference play. The Longhorns recently snapped a five-game slide with a 73-57 home win versus Texas Tech on Jan. 26, but they fell back to their losing ways on Wednesday with an 83-57 defeat at the hands of nationally-ranked Kansas State.
Texas leads the all-time series between these Lone Star State rivals, 102-62. The teams have only met once since 1996 though, with the 'Horns taking a 67-59 decision in January of 2008.
TCU never had a chance against Baylor, trailing by 17 at the half on its way to a 26-point defeat on its home floor. The Frogs shot a lowly 33.3 percent from the field in the setback, while allowing the Bears to net 47.4 percent of their attempts, and they made just two 3-point field goals compared to 11 for Baylor. Adrick McKinney was busy from the foul line (7-of-11) as he finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Connell Crossland (12 points) and Nate Butler Lind (10 points) saw increased playing time off the bench.
Not only do the Horned Frogs have the worst scoring offense in the Big 12, but their 54.7 ppg ranks only above Idaho State, Howard and Grambling in all of Division I. Kyan Anderson leads the way with 11.6 ppg, and he is also a decent floor general with 3.4 apg. Garlon Green adds 10.4 ppg, and McKinney mans the paint with 8.3 ppg and 6.9 rpg. TCU's brutal offensive output has all but ruined an outstanding effort at the defensive end (59 ppg).
Much like TCU, Texas was also thoroughly overmatched the last time out, as it trailed Kansas State by double-digits for virtually the entire game. Sheldon McClellan struggled to find his shot (3-of-12), but he managed to salvage his night with a strong 8-of-10 showing at the foul line to finish with 15 points. Jaylen Bond chipped in with 12 points and eight rebounds in a reserve role.
The Longhorns' biggest strength this season has been their defensive pressure, as they hold opponents to 63.0 ppg and their .360 field goal percentage defense ranks fourth in the nation. Their problem, like the Horned Frogs, has been scoring points, as they net a modest 64.1 ppg. McClellan makes his field goals fewer than 37 percent of the time, but he generates enough volume to lead the team in scoring at 14.8 ppg. Julien Lewis nets 11.7 ppg, and Javan Felix brings 11.7 points and nearly six assists per game to the table.
In a battle between two teams that have stout defenses and struggling shooting attacks, it's no stretch to think this one is going to be a low-scoring affair. As bad as Texas has played of late, it usually performs well on its home floor (8-2), so figure the Longhorns to hand the Horned Frogs their eighth straight loss.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas 58, TCU 50
02/02 10:44:55 ET